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Old 17th February 2012, 14:40   #1
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Default Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

April 2011, I decided to buy an automatic SX4 (Petrol) VVT engine. The deciding factors were:
  1. All required features such as ABS, alloy wheels, air bags, dashboard integrated stereo, steering mounted audio controls, et al came in the ZXi automatic
  2. Got a pretty good discount on exchange of my WagonR with SX4.
  3. Loyalty to Maruti (debatable point)
  4. Less price compared to other options (Honda City, Verna)
My first hand experience:
The car is simply super with the kind of driving comfort it gives on a very stable platform and bigger wheels. There is a small joystick provided on the driver’s side to adjust ORVMs. I am a big fan of it since it allows me to adjust the left side mirror, without a need to jump on the front passenger seat. The car can easily touch 140 KMPH without shaking. I did not try going beyond that but it appears that SX4 still holds some breath to touch higher figures.
The flip side is that interiors are old fashioned (not even comparable to Verna, City, Rapid), average output from stereo and the biggest problem is extremely poor mileage. I could only get 8.5 KMPL in city limits and 10 KMPL on highways. This translated into ~ 9 Rs / KM in city. Though I only drive ~ 1200 kms in a month, still the fuel expenses brought all my excitement down.
This article in not a full-fledged SX4 review, but it is my solution to get over the low mileage of the car.

The new avatar:
I did a lot of research to find CNG retro fitment options. There were not many articles on web about CNG fitment in SX4 and that too automatic. Fitting a CNG kit also meant loosing engine warranty on my new car. But as I was bleeding fuel, I decided to go for it. There wasn’t any other option.
I enquired about various CNG fitting agencies in Pune and zeroed down to “Gasoline Fuel Systems” in warje. More from the fact that person there could explain the functioning of CNG fitment better than the others. I decided to put Lovato kit in my new SX4 (automatic). This is a sequential kit and costed me 60K. It hurt, but I had a hope to get better results

The result:
When I got my car back (after 4 days), I took it with trembling hands. I started to drive. The person was sitting next to me and had told me that the car will initially start on petrol and then come to CNG. After a few Kms, I asked him to put it on CNG and he told me that it was already running on the green fuel.
Voila… I could not feel any difference while driving on the alternate fuel.
The car actually comes on CNG within minutes of cranking.
I pressed the accelerator as the guy was customizing the fuel intake as per RPM while sitting next to me. I was enjoying the ride and telling him my observations. In 30 Kms the car was ready. I paid and took the car.
On CNG, The car’s performance is almost the same as compared to petrol. Though it takes more efforts to go beyond 120 KMPH, but I seldom try that. The pickup is perfect and the mileage is cool. Now, I get 15 KM/Kg. With this my running is down to ~ Rs 3 / Km (CNG comes in Rs 37.5/Kg in Pune and I am including some petrol consumption as well). I had filled the tank full of petrol when I got the CNG kit. And since then I have driven 4000 Kms. The tank is still half and I am spending somewhere Rs 2000 per month on CNG versus 11000 previously on petrol.

The bottom line: As per me, CNG is a good option for the petrol cars. Diesel is always the best (from economy standpoint but if you have a petrol car and want a cheaper fuel or if you are concerned for environment, go for CNG).

At last, following are the side effects of CNG fitment:
- You always have to open the bonnet to fill fuel
- You have to visit the CNG pump more often. I can max fill 9 Kgs in the 14 Kg tank because of pressure (meaning ~ 130 Kms in a tank full)
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Old 18th February 2012, 13:43   #2
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Question Re: SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Sharme-farme... sahi re!
Tell me how much the boot space has decreased? I mean is it still usable or its now same as Astar automatic or a WagonR auto?
How useful was the bootspace to hold your bags etc when you shifted to delhi?
Btw, if you are happy with the cng guy, provide details in the recommended format as a separate thread. It will help other guys n perhaps me too
Though, I do get a good bashing from my friends, if I start talking abt installing cng kit in my auto honda city.
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Old 18th February 2012, 14:24   #3
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Default Re: SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Quote:
All required features such as ABS, alloy wheels, air bags, dashboard integrated stereo, steering mounted audio controls, et al came in the ZXi automatic
Does SX4 comes with steering mounted audio controls ? when did you get CNG kit fitted and why it took 4 days to fit it ?
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Old 18th February 2012, 15:15   #4
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Default Re: SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Congratulations on your Maruti SX4. Please add some photographs of your car ASAP.

Wishing you happy and safe driving with your VVT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksons View Post
Does SX4 comes with steering mounted audio controls ?
ZXi comes with steering mounted audio controls.
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Old 18th February 2012, 16:11   #5
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Default Re: SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 18th February 2012 at 16:19.
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Old 18th February 2012, 16:25   #6
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Wow, you really are enjoying the best of both worlds, aren't you! AT = Best for urban India. CNG = Best for our fuel prices.

Congratulations on making the right choices. An AT + CNG sedan under 10 lakhs remains a distant dream for most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishsharma View Post
I enquired about various CNG fitting agencies in Pune and zeroed down to “Gasoline Fuel Systems” in warje.
Can you please share his location, phone number and all relevant details in the Team-BHP Directory; your recommendation will surely help plenty more.

Quote:
After a few Kms, I asked him to put it on CNG and he told me that it was already running on the green fuel.
Magic moment

Quote:
I pressed the accelerator as the guy was customizing the fuel intake as per RPM while sitting next to me. I was enjoying the ride and telling him my observations. In 30 Kms the car was ready. I paid and took the car.
Good to hear that the engineer came along for a 30 kms test-drive.

Considering how sensitive India is to fuel economy & prices, I'm surprised CNG isn't more popular.

Congrats again and do drive safe.
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Old 18th February 2012, 16:41   #7
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

6rs per Km saving = Break even in 10000kms ( ie you will recover the cost of kit ), after that its bonus.

This is indeed a smart decision made.
But why not a company fitted kit - i-GPi CNG ?

The biggest reason why CNG kits are not retro-fitted IMO is fear of losing warranty & myth according to which engine will get damaged earlier due to use of CNG.


OFFTOPIC :
India being hatcback country, fitting CNG eats in to little available boot space + engine loses some power.
Availability of CNG is not wide.

Someone should really do a comparo of all Company CNG fitted hatchbacks.
Petrol prises might rise again - elections are over.

Last edited by silverado : 18th February 2012 at 16:51.
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Old 18th February 2012, 22:55   #8
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

After reading your thread, I'm really happy that using a CNG kit with an Automatic actually works. Now I'm tempted to install it in my i10 AT & drive it to work everyday, drive the Vento AT as it is & sell my Logan Diesel. Can your dealer provide a source in Mumbai? Thanks in advance & congratulations!
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Old 18th February 2012, 23:03   #9
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Great to read that you are having excellent results after fitting a after-market cng kit.But tell doesn't Maruti offer the Sx4 with a CNG option.Did you approach Maruti for installation of the same ? They might have been able to give you a proper warranty on the same.
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Old 19th February 2012, 15:10   #10
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishsharma View Post
I decided to put Lovato kit in my new SX4 (automatic). This is a sequential kit Voila… I could not feel any difference while driving on the alternate fuel.
You did the right thing by putting in a sequential injection kit.

The SX4 CNG is available as a factory fit only in the manual vxi variant.

Please make sure you use a few liters of petrol(say 7-8) in a month ; this is necessary to keep the fuel system live else you'll end up with fouled injectors (and a pump pack up after a few years).

Worse,when you need the petrol to work inc ase you;ve run out of gas ,it won't due to degradation.
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Old 19th February 2012, 17:15   #11
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Awesome review, could you post some pictures as to where the cylinder is fitted, and how much of the boot space goes away. Also any indication of cost over a post or a PM would be appreciated.

In the petrol pumps is it easy to get CNG or LPG?
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Old 19th February 2012, 23:27   #12
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

The reason i feel CNG has not caught on is because of the limited availability of the fuel. I always come across long queues at CNG bunks. Also, like vishsharma has mentioned, depending on the pressure, the tank takes in different amounts of CNG.. can be 6kg, 7kg, 9kg.. etc. This reduces your total range and for out of city long trips, where CNG filling stations are hard to come by - you end up running on petrol. Another point like someone has already mentioned is that for hatchbacks, the boot is lost.

From the engine point of view, CNG is a dry gas and thus the cooling & lubrication of parts like the engine valve seats, etc that happens with petrol don't happen. This can cause premature seat wear over a period of time. The company I work with manufacture engine valves and we have come across this problem. For CNG applications the seat hardness requirements are very high and there are many cases we see with OEM's of premature valve seat wear.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 19th February 2012 at 23:32.
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Old 20th February 2012, 09:00   #13
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Great decision vishsharma! Are there options for bigger tanks? If you are travelling to Mumbai, then the 9kg tank wouldnt prove to be enough.

As GTO said, do provide more details about the dealer. Also, it would be really helpful if you can provide the list of bunks having CNG bunks.
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Old 20th February 2012, 09:48   #14
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
could you post some pictures as to where the cylinder is fitted, and how much of the boot space goes away.
In the petrol pumps is it easy to get CNG or LPG?
Yes, here are some pictures of the boot space. i still have decent space to fit two bags.
filling CNG is always a problem. but then, its a tradeoff. i have three CNG pups within 4Kms of radius from my home, so i dont face that big a problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
.Did you approach Maruti for installation of the same ? They might have been able to give you a proper warranty on the same.
yes, i did approach maruti. I even wrote to the company and asked them to fit a kit. But they expressed their inability. I think they dont want to get into individual fitment and post issues. they want to promote factory fittet (even though i am pretty sure the factory fitted is also retro fitted. they dont fit the CNG kits on their assembly line).
regarding warranty, i lose the warranty on the car engine. i cross my fingers and trust Maruti for providing an engine, which doesnt go off that soon. on the other hand, in the previous service i reported problems with the suspension and they replaced the shocker in warranty (despite the car running on CNG). so warranty doesnt go completely void.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anilkalvani View Post
Can your dealer provide a source in Mumbai? Thanks in advance & congratulations!
The same dealer provides service n Mumbai as well (i guess its his brother). you can visit Gasoline Fuel System india,pune to know more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Great decision vishsharma! Are there options for bigger tanks? If you are travelling to Mumbai, then the 9kg tank wouldnt prove to be enough.

As GTO said, do provide more details about the dealer. Also, it would be really helpful if you can provide the list of bunks having CNG bunks.
Yes, there are options for bigger tanks. but those are not approved by RTO. so the best legal option is 14 Kg tank. I have travelled many time Pune Mumbai on CNG and trust me, it easily takes you there. my round trip cost Pune -mumbai - Pune is between Rs 550 - 600 (tolls extra )

For Pune, the list of CNG pumps is: :: Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited ::
For Mumbai, you can find the list here: Cng filling stations (or pumps) in India

hope this helps.
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar-img00128201111131341.jpg  

Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar-img00129201111131341.jpg  

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Old 20th February 2012, 14:57   #15
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 (Automatic) in a CNG avatar

Congratulations, vishsharma! SX4 SXi is a very good car (I have been driving one for past 18 months and I am very happy with it), and by getting the CNG kit, you are really getting a great deal. I am impressed when you say that you don’t feel any difference in the engine performance when switched to CNG. I am loving the VVT engine of my SX4, and if the CNG can give you the same feel, then it is indeed the best of the both worlds scenario.

Pardon me for a stupid question: How do you switch fuels? Is there a switch or is there some kind of automatic mechanism?

Thanks,
-AD
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